Racers step up to help ACCESS

By Dave Scott
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Tawni Sigelmier (left) of Green and Heather Iannello of Westlake take off at the start of the Stiletto Sprint at Lock 3 Saturday in Akron. Iannello went on to win the sprint in the fundraiser for ACCESS, a homeless shelter for women, that also included a one mile walk and 5K. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

With temperatures in the 40s, rain in the forecast and the sun blocked out by dense clouds, Sean Fremon still found a way to kick up his heels and have fun Saturday morning at Akron’s Lock 3.

He put on a pair of four-inch brown pumps and won a 50-yard race in a dashing 9.1 seconds.

He was risking his dignity to help ACCESS, an Akron emergency homeless shelter serving women and their children.

Running on his tippy toes in shoes he bought from a second-hand store, he easily outran two other male competitors in the first heat.

“I run on my toes anyway,” he said at the finish line, barely winded.

Also fast on her heels was Heather Iannello who won the women’s competition in 10.8 seconds.

She wore six-inch iridescent platform stilettos.

She was a repeat winner and took full advantage of the bragging rights from last year.

“Actually, I showed everyone my trophy and put it on Facebook,” she said.

Experience helped. She said she owns 150 pairs of stilettos and wears them every day to work, even after suffering knee and ankle injuries. She said that with daily use, the shoes build up strength and become comfortable.

ACCESS also held a 5K run and a one-mile walk, all to raise funds for its work to provide shelter to homeless women and children.

Executive Director Lynn Budnick said the agency helped 45 people the night before the race and has been servicing the area since 1984.

“What we’re about is trying to break the cycle of homelessness,” she said shortly before the races.

The event raised $12,000 from entry fees for the 5K and walk, and corporate sponsorships.

Curt Bachus won the 5K with a time of 17 minutes, 50 seconds. Matt Cochran was second at 19.43 and Kara Sosinski was third at 20.39.

Dave Scott can be reached at 330-996-3577 or davescott@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Scott on Twitter at Davescottofkro.

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